The end of the world with a double diesel cabin is approaching! Why China’s New Electric Ute Is the Beginning of the End for Diesel-Powered Workhorses Opinion – car news
The end of the road for diesel double cabins is now in sight. Next time you get into your Ford Ranger or Toyota HiLux, listen carefully. You may hear the doomsday clock ticking softly in the style of Edgar Allan Poe.
I know, I know, that’s not what you want to hear. Whenever I talk about this with my fellow Ute drivers, they all say the same thing, and the words “cold dead hands” usually come up.
But the truth is, they don’t have to take your ute from you. They will just stop making them. And then it’s petrol hybrid or electric or nothing.
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LDV could be the first to arrive in Australia, with the brand’s eT60 set to land here before the end of the year. But it won’t be the last. The eT60 is powered by an 88.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, which will enable a WLTP-certified range of 330 km.
Based on international specs, the electric ute should be able to tow 1.5 tonnes – not the 3.5 tonnes expected of many utes – and it will deliver a payload capacity of around 750kg. They can also pretty much guarantee that towing or carrying anything near its limits will eat up those range ledges like water poured on sugar.
But here’s the important part. The eT60 is the first, not the last, and while its specs tend to satisfy a smaller crew-cab buyer than traditional diesel Utes, you can bet the next few will only improve the formula.
Cut to Sydney, where Rivian was seen bringing its R1S electric SUV – sibling to the R1T electric SUV – to Australia, possibly for testing ahead of the brand’s much-promised local launch. One R1T is already here, having been spotted on the Brisbane tour.
At the heart of the R1T is a skateboard EV chassis and 147kW quad electric motors. The brand says a total of 1400Nm of torque is on offer, as well as three battery options comprising 105kW, 135kWh and 180kWh configurations.
The brand says it can accelerate to 100 km/h in around 3.0 seconds and can also tow an impressive 3.5 tonnes. That sounds more like it, doesn’t it?
The Ford F-150 Lightning has just seen another price increase in the US – it’s the second since its launch – and demand is massively outstripping supply in its home market.
R.A.M? A 1500 EV is planned for 2024. GM? Meet the Silverado EV and the Hummer reborn. The change is happening, and it’s happening now.
But it’s not just the big US trucks. Ford has trademarked the Ranger Lightning name in Australia, and you don’t need to connect too many dots to figure out where this badge might be attached.
Nissan and Mitsubishi are both exploring gas-electric powertrain options for the Navara and Triton, respectively. Volkswagen? Electrical utensils are also on the table there. And Kia and Hyundai both plan to have an EV Ute in Australia in the near future.
The list goes on and on.
Even Toyota — the brand arguably the slowest to move forward with electric vehicles, with just one bZ model officially unveiled at the moment — has announced its EV Ute shift, unveiling an electric concept as part of its 2030 EV vision.
The point here is that while we felt the ground shake, with the combined weight of Australia’s Ute owners jumping up and down over the electric eT60’s “true Ute” flaws, this is just the beginning.
Make no mistake, the end of the double diesel cabin is coming. The only question now is when.